How do you know if your business is ready for a solution provider?

As a merchant, you’re constantly looking at how other businesses engage with consumers, and you may have decided that your business is ripe to add some solutions to your toolset to help outpace the competition- but what tools should you add?  A messaging platform?  A CRM? How to decide?  Daniel Kahan, Loyalty Lead at W. Capra suggests, “Before wading into the daunting task of selecting solution providers, clearly and intentionally setting your strategy will help define your technology roadmap.”    

Reflection and planning

“If you neglect strategy and choose to merely implement a solution with the thought that it alone will bring success, you’re walking in the room to be an also-ran,” Kahan added.

Being intentional and thoughtful in setting your strategy by thoroughly thinking about where you want your business to go, either benchmarked against previous internal performance or against your competition, will help to inform what type of solution providers may be appropriate to engage.  Furthermore, this activity will help to define granular requirements that can be provided to prospective suppliers as part of an RFI or RFP process to aid in choosing the right partner.

Additionally, designing the metrics and KPIs that will govern program success will help to have the end in mind and broaden the known outputs or capabilities that may be needed from a solution provider. 

It’s not enough to buy the exercise equipment, you have to use it

Undoubtedly, at some point in all of our lives, we have seen a treadmill or other piece of exercise equipment adorned in clothes or boxes, sitting unused for its intended purpose.  Similarly, when a solution provider is brought into your organization’s toolset, you will need to figure out how to work with the provider to support and operationalize the new program-what will the vendor provide and how will your team need to support the solution to achieve desired outcomes?  Kahan further stated, “Solution providers are often working to onboard companies and users onto their platform, but don’t necessarily have cost-effective or wide-ranging solutions to help you operationalize the solution post go-live.  In order to ensure proper resourcing will be in place to maintain and operate a successful solution, you’ll need to be honest with yourself about whether you need to supplement your team with outside knowledge and experience early in the supplier evaluation journey.”

Daniel Kahan is dedicated to assisting W. Capra clients with Loyalty considerations, selections and smooth implementations.

For further discussion, contact Daniel Kahan at dkahan@wcapra.com.

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